US futures take a dive as Brexit vote results roll in


US stock index futures dipped sharply lower Thursday evening ET as results from the British referendum continued to roll in. Dow Jones futures briefly saw an implied open down more than 400 points, before then recovering some of those losses. Those moves, however, occurred on extremely light volume. The FTSE futures also extended their losses, pointing briefly to a 6 percent fall at the U.K. stock market open, according to Reuters. Britons voted Thursday on whether to leave the European Union. Polls closed at 5 p.m. ET and the highly anticipated results are expected overnight. A new opinion poll released after voting ended indicated Britain appears to favor remaining in the European Union in Thursday’s referendum. US stocks closed more than 1 percent higher Thursday, with the pound near year-to-date highs against the dollar, following increased expectations the U.K. will vote to remain in the European Union. The major indexes rallied into the close, with the S&P 500 above the psychologically key 2,100 level and posting its highest close since June 9. The Dow Jones industrial average jumped about 230 points to close above the psychologically key 18,000 level for the first time since June 8. The S&P was about 1 percent below its all-time intraday high, while the Dow was within 2 percent of its all-time intraday high. “I think the market’s already voted. … It looks like they’re looking for the stay vote to prevail,” said Adam Sarhan, CEO of Sarhan Capital. “This could be a classic case of ‘buy the rumor, sell the fact,'” he said. Financials, which are also sensitive to the results of the EU referendum, gained 2.1 percent to lead all S&P 500 sectors higher. The Bank (KBE) and Regional Bank (KRE) ETFs closed nearly 3 percent higher or more for their best day in more than a month. Goldman Sachs gained 3 percent to contribute the most to gains in the Dow. The US Federal Reserve is set to release the first results from the annual bank stress tests after the close. The pound traded near USD 1.490, its highest since December. The US dollar index traded about 0.4 percent lower, with the euro near USD 1.138 after earlier hitting its highest in more than a month. The yen was near 105.9 yen versus the greenback, near its highest in a week. The Dow transports closed 0.9 percent higher, while the Russell 2000 outperformed with gains of 2 percent. As of the close Thursday, the three major US stock indexes were up nearly 2 percent or more for the week so far. Traders also attributed some of the gains to short covering. European stocks closed higher, with the German DAX up more than 1.5 percent for its first five-day win streak since late May. The STOXX Europe 600 about 1.5 percent higher. The STOXX 600 Europe Banks index gained more than 2.5 percent for its first five-day win streak since April. The index is tracking for its best week since late 2011. In Asia, the Nikkei 225 closed more than 1 percent higher while the Shanghai composite closed about half a percent lower. US stocks closed lower Wednesday, as declines in energy stocks weighed, and investors remained on edge ahead of the Brexit vote after a poll indicated a slight edge for leave over remain. Separate polls released after the close indicated more support for remain. “Since we had a fairly low conviction as to how the vote would go, we were reluctant to make a bet in a general direction,” said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott. App developer tool firm Twilio (TWLO) opened at USD 23.99 a share after pricing its initial public offering at USD 15 a share, above the expected USD 12 to USD 13 a share range. The stock surged nearly 92 percent in its first day of trade, the most successful IPO debut of the year so far. Macy’s announced Thursday its CEO Terry Lundgren will step down from that position next year. Shares closed 1.7 percent higher. In economic news, weekly jobless claims fell to 259,000, not far from a 43-year low touched in March. The flash Markit manufacturing PMI for June was 51.4, up from 50.7 in May. New home sales declined 6.0 percent in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 551,000 units. Treasury yields held higher, with the 2-year yield near 0.78 percent and the 10-year yield around 1.74 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 230.24 points, or 1.29 percent, at 18,011.07, with Goldman Sachs leading advancers and Nike the only decliner. The S&P 500 closed up 27.87 points, or 1.34 percent, at 2,113.32, with financials leading all 10 sectors higher. The Nasdaq composite closed up 76.72 points, or 1.59 percent, at 4,910.04. About five stocks advanced for every decliner on the New York Stock Exchange, with an exchange volume of 837 million and a composite volume of 3.2 billion in the close. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, traded lower near 17.4. US crude oil futures for August delivery settled up 98 cents, or 1.99 percent, at USD 50.11 a barrel. Gold futures for August settled down USD 6.90 at USD 1,263.10 an ounce.